Neuroticism and cognitive constructs as risk factors for repeated episodes of self-injurious behavior

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Holly M. Miskey (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Rosemery Nelson-Gray

Abstract: The current project proposed a model to predict repeated episodes of self-injurious behavior (RSIB) integrating the personality variable of neuroticism, and the cognitive factors of a ruminative thinking style and SIB-specific cognitive content. Study 1 evaluated items proposed for inclusion in a measure of SIB-specific cognitions. Internal reliability of the questionnaire was good (α = .87), and values for the four scales ranged from α = .71 to .84. Following revisions, the Self-Injurious Cognitive Content Measure (SCCM) consisted of four scales with six to eight items each. Study 2 evaluated the ability of the proposed model to predict RSIB. First, competing confirmatory factor analyses of the SCCM produced in Study 1 were completed. Results favored a 3-factor model, and item loadings were good to excellent (.78 to .99). Next, a series of regressions supported the hypothesis that ruminative thinking partially mediates the relation of neuroticism to RSIB. Path analyses examining moderating effects of each cognitive content variable on ruminative style revealed only direct effects for the first two cognitions (self-injury is acceptable/necessary, the body and self are disgusting and deserving of punishment). In the final model including ruminative thinking and Cognitive Content 1 and 2, only the belief that self-injury is acceptable significantly and uniquely predicted RSIB over and above neuroticism, a ruminative style, and the belief that the self deserves punishment. This study was the first to propose a measure of SIB-specific cognitions and the first to integrate specific thought content into explanatory models of SIB. Results highlight the importance of further investigation into cognitions unique to SIB and their place within future models.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Cognition, Neuroticism, Rumination, Self-injury
Cognitive psychology

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